HMV has defied the odds on the High Street to pull off its biggest ever Christmas – enjoying a 5.8 per cent sales growth for the ten weeks to January 3rd.
Like-for-like growth was up three per cent on the same period in 2008.
The total HMV Group – which also owns books and entertainment store Waterstones – enjoyed a 2.9 per cent rise in sales, up half a per cent like-for-like.
However, the firm warned of difficult months ahead, with gross margin expected to be flat for the full year in both HMV UK & Ireland and Waterstone's
HMV International total sales were down 3.6 per cent, including like for like sales decline of 6.6 per cent.
HMV Chief Executive Simon Fox said:
It is pleasing to be able to report that the Group performed well over Christmas against a very difficult consumer environment. Indeed, HMV UK enjoyed its biggest ever Christmas.
Whilst trading conditions continue to be challenging, HMV Group is focused on delivering against its plan and taking advantage of the opportunities arising from the reshaping of the competitive landscape, and we are on track to meet our expectations for the full year.”
The good news will be welcomed by shareholders, after the firm revealed a six-month loss in December.